Shops were able to re-open yesterday, Monday 29th of June, across Scotland’s towns, cities and villages. This came as welcome news as the R number for Scotland is between 0.6 and 0.8.
Physical distancing and the wearing of face coverings/masks within enclosed spaces like shops has meant that the spread of the deadly virus has been significantly limited. It is now compulsory to wear face coverings/masks on public transport. Whilst it is not yet mandatory to do so in shops, it is highly advised in order to protect shop workers and others shopping.
Several local people in Orkney have been making face masks for islanders and there is a wide variety of fabrics to choose from.
Maree Todd, MSP and Minister for Children and Young People has highlighted 2 of Orkney’s face mask producers. After posting on social media to identify small businesses, community groups and individuals who are selling and donating face coverings across the Highlands and Islands, the MSP was contacted by several.
Maree Todd said:
“I was delighted to hear from so many small businesses, community groups and individuals across the Highlands & Islands who are focusing efforts on producing face coverings to those in their local area.
“Face coverings bring a benefit in reducing transmission of the virus which is why they have now been made mandatory on public transport. The Scottish Government is also strongly advising the use of face coverings in enclosed spaces such as shops. “
In her social media appeal, Maree Todd heard from two Orkney residents, Fiona Robertson & Tricia Sutherland, who have both been working flat out to produce face coverings to those in their local community.
Maree Todd continued:
“Fiona has been shielding and had initially been using her time to make wash bags and scrubs for the NHS but recently she has been focusing on face coverings, where her designs have been extremely popular.
“Tricia has been taking orders via her Face Masks Orkney Facebook page and through her incredible efforts, she has been able to make a donation of £350 to local charities and has given a total of 167 free masks to key workers across Orkney.
“Tricia and Fiona are both assets to their community and they have played a vital role in responding to the needs of the community during the health crisis.”
The Scottish Government has stated that medical and surgical masks are not necessary for wider public use, but instead a covering on the mouth and nose that is made out of cloth or other textiles will suffice.
There are exemptions for those unable to wear a face covering due to health reasons, and they should not be worn by children under the age of 5.
There are several Orkney makers producing face coverings. Here are the details of the two mentioned in the article.
To place an order for face coverings, you can email Fiona Robertson for more information on: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find Tricia Sutherland’s Face Masks Orkney page on Facebook: Face Masks Orkney